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Does anyones infant wear a helmet b/c of a flat head?

Posted by on Sep. 3, 2008 at 10:13 PM
  • 7 Replies

My little guy is almost 8 mo. old and I think he might need a helmet for his flat head but I wanted to get others advise/input.  When I took him to his 6mo. check up the Dr. mentioned that his head was to flat and brought up maybe getting him a helmet. I kinda freaked out and asked her if I could try to fix it on my own and so she told me to lay him on his side in the sleep positioner for naps or on his belly, (which the belly didn't work b/c he hates to be on his belly) and at bedtime to keep him on his back so i did all of that and it did improve but not that much. I looked back at pictures of my daughter when she was 7mo. old and her head was so round and completely different than Joeys so I freaked and took him to the Dr. again and thats when she set me up with Childrens Hospital. She measured his head and said that it was growing which is always good but she didnt want it to grow to much for fear that a helmet would not work if all his soft spots had fused together. So this is what I'm worried about, the appt. isnt till Sept 25th! He will almost be 9 mo. old! But they said since its a specialist its really hard to get in. I'm just freakin out! i don't mind that he needs a helmet, if that will fix it then fine, sign me up. I just dont want to get him in to late and them say "well he's to old, its not going to do
him any good now". ya know? then he'll be stuck with a flat head. I lso enclose a picture so you could get an idea of what it looks like. So, any advise or input would be appreciated! These are just some questions I have if anyone can answer them who has been in this situation,

1. Did you have to take your lil one to Childrens hospital to get x-rays first?
2. Did you then see the plastic surgery dept.?
3. Did they wear it 24/7?
4. How many months did they wear it?
5. Did your insurance pay for it?
6. How old were they when they first got it?

by on Sep. 3, 2008 at 10:13 PM
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by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 1:09 AM

from the piche doesnt look like he needs one, my son doesnt have one but my cousin does. he only wears it like 30 minutes to an hour a day. and they have medicaid and it payed for it so any other insuranse should.  and he got it at about 6 months old. what you can try is get some baby oil and rub his head in the round position like it should be. at least until he gets the helmet. but my cousins head was really bad. it was bumpy all over and from the front you could tell because one side was about an inch and a half higher then the other. dont worry if its too late, you will love him no matter what.


by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 9:15 AM

I had similar problems with my son except he was flat on the side, not the back of his head.  It was very emotional for me so I can understand your feelings.  I took him for a consultation with a plastic surgeon in our area who runs a "craniofacial team".  The surgeon offered us the helmet or wait.  My son was just starting to sit up then so we waited since we thought the head might change after he was sitting for longer periods of time instead of laying down more.  We also took pictures each month to try to assess for changes.  I also took him to an osteopathic doctor who did some gentle manipulations and taught me how to do some exercises at home.  I'm really not sure how much this helped but it made me feel like I was doing something.  We ended up not using the helmet and I'm happy with the results (he is now 17 months old).  Baby's skulls are very flexible and your son is not too old to still see a lot of improvement.  Usually the helmet works best if you wear it almost continuously.  The severity of the deformity will determine the duration of treatment with the helmet (usually a few months).  That's my experience (I'm also a doctor so I have that perspective as well).


Good luck.

by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 10:56 AM
I understand what your going through. I had some of the very same emotions about my son and his flat spot. Which our insurance wouldn't cover to get him in a helmet. However, we just picked his helmet up yesterday afternoon. We first had to talk to starbandkids. We met with an orthotest (he took a lazer scan of caleb's head....which is no harm to him) who referred us to Dr. Ham at Children's Hosp. of Detroit. He looked at Caleb's head and talked to us for a few minutes then a guy came to take pictures so we could send in with our paper work to fight our insurance company. The Dr. also gave us a letter of medical need. Along with a Ped. So with all of that we got our funding from a local non-profit org. and headed back to see the orthoest who is the guy that actually fits the helmet (same guy we first saw.) He had to take a second scan of caleb's head to make sure he was ordering the helmet to fit him now. That was last wednesday...and it took a week to come in so we picked it up yesterday. They start them off wearing it 1 hour on 1 hour off the first day not on for naps or for the night. The second day 2 hours on 1 hour off..not on for naps or for the night. The 3rd day 4 hours on 1 hour off and he will start wearing it for naps and the night. Then the 4th day it is 8 hours on 1 hour off wears it for naps and the night time. The 5th day it is on he will have it on for 23 hours with 1 hour off to give him a bath and wash the inside of the helmet. After that the helmet only comes off if he is sick (vomiting or running a temp.) He can't wear it swimming, but summer is just about over anyway. Also we have to take him back next wed. for a check up. Then we will go back for a check up about every two weeks till they think it is time to take it off. I was so upset about him having to wear this at first but I realize that I don't want him to have a really flat head and get picked on later in life either. I also realized that it is really no different then if he needed braces or head gear or glasses when he is older. Well I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. I would be happy to answer anything I can as we are going through this right now. Kim
by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 11:18 AM

I just spoke to my ped. about this two days ago and he said that the concern is when it isn't symetrical.  My son's head is flat on the back as well and he said that he would be fine unless it changed which affects their face and jaw. 

by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Hi my name is Carolyn. MY son had one we live in San Diego and we got it when he was 6 mts old.There can be in a helmet up to 18 mts they may grow out of the first one typically 3-4 mts but you can always go into another band(helmet). Im pretty sure they have to be in he band 23 hrs a day for however long he needs it . u go back every week or 2 and they will adjust the band as his head shape changes. We didnt have x-rays they do it with laser tech (painless) and it only takes a few mins. U can also get the band decorated . At first i was a lil embarased my husband more than me to take him out in it but then it kinda grows on ya.

 It took my baby a couple of days to get used to it at nite. that was the only part i had trouble with, he didnt like it on at nite.

We have medical and they would NOT pay for it  so good luck with that.

lemme know how it goes for you.


by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 1:01 PM

My DS isn't in a helmet yet, but he will be, but for the OPPOSITE reason of your son's. He has a very long pointy head. He's actually having to have surgery here at the end of the month because his sutures on the top of his head closed prematurely, so they need to open it back up again so the brain will grow evenly. After the surgery he'll be in a helmet - i'm not sure the reason, if its for protection, or to help shape the head better.... we'll see!

I think your guy looks great! I think the flatness is pretty common...

by on Sep. 4, 2008 at 4:45 PM

His doesn't look that bad. All of my girls went through this...when they are really young, they don't move  a lot in their sleep, and that is what causes it.  My first DD was worse then that and I was just as worried as you are -- but it worked its way out once she started sleeping on her side, and on her belly. And her head is shaped just fine now.

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